I scream, you scream…

I spent today hanging out with two fat cows.

I’m not being rude – that’s the name of Kate (Ed’s wife) and her friend’s ice cream company, and this morning I pretended to assist in whipping up a batch of mint-choc-chip.

Two Fat Cows icecream

I’ve been really surprised since I’ve been in Australia how few farm shops and farm-based food products I’ve seen. Other than in central Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, I haven’t really seen any regional produce or premium food shops.

I’ve talked to a few farmers about it and they said that it was predominantly because Australia is too large to produce regional produce – an argument I don’t necessarily agree with.

They also say that consumers shop differently here than in the UK. It’s pretty normal for a shopping mall to have a large Coles or Woolworths supermarket with a butchers, greengrocers and bakers right next door. Bread, fruit and meat still seems to be something people want to buy from a specialist retailer, and the assumption is that the produce bought from there will be fairly local and of high-quality.

But in this part of Western Australia, it seems farmers (particularly their wives) have cottoned on to the fact that the state has a strong regional identity and there is a huge tourist trade they could be tapping into.

As well as plenty of farm shops, there are a number of people, like Kate and Sue, who are producing premium products from the stuff produced on their farms.

Kate and Sue started selling their ice cream towards the end of last year after spending several months teaching themselves how to make icecream and researching the frozen dairy market.

They decided to start producing a premium ice cream made from entirely natural products – including milk from Ed’s cows.

The pair have been quite lucky in the respect that Sue used to be a graphic designer, so she understands the importance of branding.
They are both pretty savvy in understanding what their clientele want as well, so they have plumped for high-quality packaging which – while it costs them more to produce – adds to the character of the product and allows them to sell it at a premium.

They are now selling the icecream to farm shops in the area, as well as by the scoop at farmers markets and shows. They have also started pasteurising their own milk, and are selling a litre of Ed’s milk for $2.50 – a considerable mark-up on Ed’s cost of production.

After being today’s official taste-tester, I can definitely give my thumbs up to the mint-choc-chip anyway. And the banana chocolate swirl. And the almond praline. And the peanut butter fudge. I get all the hared jobs, don’t I…

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2 Responses to “I scream, you scream…”

  1. Simon

    Lime and olive oil flavour?!? That can’t be a good idea.

  2. Caroline Stocks

    Actually just this second finished eating some. It’s amazing :)